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Richard Lawrence Birdwell

August 19, 1946 ~ December 21, 2017 (age 71)

Richard Lawrence Birdwell passed away, surrounded by family, on December 21, 2017. Richard was the husband of Judy Nielsen Church Birdwell, Son of the late Willard Earl Birdwell and Peggie Nola Birdwell Birdwell. He was the father of Nancy (Craig) Maclaren, John B (Cindy) Birdwell Sr., Beth (Eddie) Croxton, & Sue (Chris) Jones. Step father to Cindy Church Birdwell, Sarah (Laura Sharrai) Church, and Michelle Church. Grandpa to 12 Grandchildren and 5 Great-Grandchildren. Brother of Albert Lee (Susan) Birdwell.  He worked in the automotive supplier industry for almost 40 years. Going from working in a “Service Station” while in High School, he worked himself into the position of Business Unit Manager in the UK at one point. The mentors he gave credit to for his successes were many – but 2 in particular Raphel De Ritis during his time with ITT Automotive and most special is Ernie V Smutek while with Dura Convertible Systems and since then as a dear friend.  He was involved with many new cars in supplying parts and engineering support  as well as being assigned to new car launch teams. He could work on the factory floor or in the Corporate offices. He was a machine operator, Draftsman, Tool & Die Designer, Tool Troubleshooter, Process Engineer, Project Manager, Program Manager, R & D Supervisor, Assistant to the VP of Operations, Cost Estimator and as a Senior Engineer in Advanced Engineering. A couple of patents & many awards and letters of recognition along the way.  He played nine holes of golf at par once in the many years he enjoyed the sport. He rolled an actual 278 score during a county bowling tourney with an average of only around 150 at that time.  He always was proud to say he was a “purebred Birdwell” therefore he figured it made him related to most Birdwells he would meet or contact on the internet.  He was preceded to Heaven by his father and mother.  Richard requested his ashes laid to rest alongside his parents in Tennessee. The family will hold a private graveside service, but no formal memorial services are scheduled.

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